Various Artists

Tito Puente

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The point here is that you can get great Tico performances on a budget-label record. The downside is unevenness and inferior sound. The upside is a curious variety of artists (some may not be Tico), tempos, and selections. The Puente tracks are vocal, for instance; the unknown-female-sung "Cha Cha Mambo" is sappy but delectable fun. Alfredito's "Chinese Cha Cha Cha" is an inspired exotic number distinguished by staccato vibes that sound more like xylophone (maybe it is). From pachanga and hybrid cha cha cha we move right into a samba followed by a mambo. It has its moments.

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